The whole problem with false prophets in politics is that eventually they are almost always exposed.
And so President Obama returns to small towns in Virginia and North Carolina, the apex of his improbable and stunning 2008 campaign victory.
It was in those traditionally Republican states that he convinced voters that he was some kind of new politician, a different sort of Democrat. Post-partisan, we were told. He believed in personal responsibility, free markets and yearned to move America beyond racial divisiveness and distrust.
And he managed to quell accusations that he was some kind of foreigner with contempt for average Americans who just want to work hard, earn their money and be left alone.
He even managed to beat back the firestorm that erupted after he told his crowd in San Francisco that small-town people are "bitter" and "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them."
Boy, were we duped. Turns out, the only slip-up in San Francisco was that he accidentally said precisely what he meant. As Americans have clung to their guns and religion in these hard times, he has clung to his beloved socialism and big government.
After a failed stimulus, Mr. Obama is trying to ram through more stimulus. He attacks Republicans for thwarting his latest effort. He conveniently — and dishonestly — leaves off that his latest effort died in the Senate, which is controlled by his own party. It was Democratic defections that killed the bill.
Oozing with contempt, Mr. Obama now wants to break his bill into "bite-sized pieces. Maybe they just couldn't understand the whole thing at once," he said of Republicans.
And then in a whip of tomfoolery bold even by Washington standards, Mr. Obama now says he opposed ending the massive new budget-busting long-term-care entitlement program included in Obamacare. This, just days after his administration announced it was killing it because it was so massively expensive.
I mean, how stupid does he think these voters are?
Well, apparently they are on to him.
Polls show that his support has collapsed in both North Carolina and Virginia, especially among highly valued independent voters. Even Democrats (a startling 21 percent of the North Carolina populace) are walking.
This campaign swing has been littered with Democratic politicians avoiding Obama like the plague. This includes former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine, who is running for the Senate in Virginia.
It is a wonder that his campaign would waste five minutes worrying about states like North Carolina and Virginia.
The only remaining question is how many more of those states he won over are already too far gone.
• Charles Hurt's column appears Wednesday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.